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Gimmie Shelter: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Based on a true story, Gimmie Shelter goes into the darkest of places, where we find a battered 16-year-old girl fleeing her drug addicted mother. This new movie from Roadside Attractions (Bella, Amazing Grace) follows this young girl's traumatic journey to find acceptance and brings hope and faith to theaters this weekend.

Starring Vanessa Hudgens in the lead role, Gimmie Shelter shows how God's promises are true even if circumstances cloud our vision of His work in our lives. Caution is advised due to the film's thematic content (see explanation below).


Apple is a survivor. To make it another day, she runs away from home and her abusive, drugged out mother (Rosario Dawson) one last time. Her only hope is her father (Brendan Fraser), a man she has never met. With a little money and one letter he wrote to her years ago, Apple shows up at his palatial home. Feeling rejected again, she wanders the streets of Newark, New Jersey, until circumstances bring her to a caring priest (James Earl Jones) and a shelter for homeless pregnant girls.


With a grittiness and a mainstream-heavy soundtrack (featuring songs by Jessie J and Lana Del Rey), Gimmie Shelter doesn't play like your run of the mill, faith-based movie. It's more difficult to watch than Courageous or Soul Surfer. But, it's got a lot of heart and soul, and faith in it. The movie also has a powerful pro-life message to it.

Hudgens (who's most known for her breakout role in the High School Musical movies) lays it all out on the concrete in Gimmie Shelter. Her embrace of this real character, this young girl's story is full on. And that commitment pays off in a moving performance that will likely bring a tear to your eye. If her passion doesn't get you, then the rawness of Dawson's portrayal of her broken mother or the confident faith of Chaplain McCarthy as played by James Earl Jones will.

As mentioned before, caution is advised. Gimmie Shelter is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving mistreatment, some drug content, violence and language – all concerning teens. That in mind, this film is appropriate for most teens to watch, and an important one for them to see.


Drawing on themes of rejection, trust, acceptance, charity, and love, Gimmie Shelter gives moviegoers a chance to see a story of hope unfold on theater screens this weekend.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's